Lewisham Country Fayre this weekend

Thanks to Sue Luxton for highlighting this one, which is just down the hill:

"Cornmill Gardens is Lewisham’s newest open space. Situated just off Loampit Vale, it provides access to the River Ravensbourne, which has been released from its concrete walls. To celebrate the opening, Lewisham will be holding it’s first Country Fayre on Sunday 23 September 2007 from 12-6pm."

More details on her excellent blog

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's poignant of course, that as soon as some of the Ravensbourne is 'released from its concete walls' even more will be prepared to be encased if the Lewisham Development goes ahead.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon, are you sure that's actually true? I thought the criticism about the scheme was that it failed to do enough to celebrate the rivers, not that it would actually make the situation worse. ie: a missed opportunity.

Anonymous said...

It is true that more of the rivers will be encased in concrete yes and, as you say, there is criticism that it fails to celebrate the rivers, which was one of the overriding requests from residents when asked what they wanted, as was green space, which has been reduced by approximately the size of a football pitch.
If you want to have an accurate idea of the green space that is being provided in the Gateway, go to Cornmill gardens, the triangle of green space on the east side of the river and the railway track is a little larger than 'confluence park' within the Gateway. Imagine that, with tall buildings on every side...you're standing in the Gateway...
The developers have conveniently sidestepped this by including paved areas in their calculations, and they were admonished for this (the the GLA I think, from memory)

Vikki said...

Wish people would identify themselves!

When the Gateway was previously discussed on this blog I'm sure it was mentioned that 'anti-Gatewayers' were including the roundabout as part of the current green space.

Residents wishes should be prioritised - as much as is feasible - and I wouldn't want to see the rivers more encased in concreate but Anon you can't you say this and not back it up with anything!

I think it's really important we keep an open mind about the Gateway and Loampit developments. Not because we should just let the developers and council do anything they want but so that we make the most of this huge opportunity to improve our local community. Rumours can do a load of damage and could see local residents, like ourselves, focusing on the wrong things.

spincat said...

I am one of the people who was actually being quite 'pro' the Lewisham Gateway last time round, simply because I was very impressed - and still am - with Cornmill Gardens. The development there is about the whole opening up of the river, creating landcaped river banks and garden around that: it is really impressive.

However, I have to say that, now I have researched it a bit more _ for example I went on a river walk down the Quaggy with members of the action group (we even saw a kingfisher just off Lee High Rd!) and then studied the plans more carefully. Whilest I strongly support the Gateways's objectives and many aspects of the plan, it *is* true that more of the 2 rivers will be totally enclosed, until the actual point of confluence where a very small open space will be created.

This is a shame, because it would be almost impossible to uncover those stretches in the future - and a shame because so much imaginative work is going into making more of the Quaggy & Ravensbourne elsewhere and an opportunity is being missed to follow that through.
No-one seriously thinks those gardens by the Quaggy with their delightful views over the roundabout currently constitute charming green space: it is just that the opportunity to vastly improve on those river areas of bank is being lost under concrete.

The architectural drawings of Gateway make much of a view from Cornmill Gardens over to the proposed new blocks and this gives a very misleading impression as to the amount of new green space that will be created ( well, it mislead me for some time!)

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks spincat, that's interesting. Totally agree with vikki, people who neither identify themselves, nor provide sources or details to back up points can't expect to be taken seriously. Anyway, I need to get the second part of the interview with john miller written up (there's been so much other news lately) because one point to make is that all that the council are considering at this point are the principles (eg. Number of flats, retail units,etc) rather than design specifics. The images released so far are not final designs, just indicative. Even if the plans are voted through, the detail is still to be finalised.

spincat said...

Yes, we have the opportunity for a little while longer to make our views known on the scheme, to ensure that new buildings are exiciting and innovative rather than bland or ugly (like Citibank or the police station) and that green/river space is optimised.

treelegs said...

The information about whats happening to the rivers is all included in the mountain of information thats available, but this mountain is accessible to people who take the trouble to search it out I'm afraid.
But to paraphrase:
At the moment The Gateway site has approximately 5,000 square metres of green space alongside approximately 210 metres of river bank. The application proposes reducing that to approximately 2,700 square metres alongside less
than 100 metres of river bank. Quaggy Gardens and Charlottenburg Gardens will disappear. Yet in all the consultation people of Lewisham said they wanted more green space and the rivers opened up. These figues do not include Cornmill gardens.
The developers may have a stand at the Country Fayre (I can't speak for them) so why not ask them directly?
As far as spincat says about 'green space being recreated', this isn't true, green space the approximate size of a football pitch is being lost. Any 'open space' will be largely paved over. The loss of green space isn't simply abut a place where you can pitch a deckchair and put a knotted handkerchief on your head, but it's about things like water drainage and flood risk as well.
This is a difficult and complicated development and a great deal of tenacity has to be invoked to engage with it, and this works in the developers favour of course.
I'm sure that any comment John Miller makes will be balanced, unfortunately I don't think that the scales he uses are calibrated entirely in the residents favour.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, don't disregard what he says but take take it with a pinch of salt.
One final thing, whatever objections there are to the gateway scheme, these objections are coming from residents, like yourselves. The developers have *no* long term obligation to Lewisham, they're here to make a profit, as we know, buy we as residents will have to live with this.
If you want me to identify myself I'll call myself, umm, treelegs, hows that?

leenewham said...

The greenspace that is lost doesn include the centre ofthe roundabout. Currently the rivers seem to be encased in a concrete channel and are of little use to anyone other than those trying to see if a shopping trolly will float.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks treelegs. As a campaigner against the scheme, it's no good just saying the information's out there for people who can be bothered - if you want to convince people, you have to help them find it.

Anyway, thanks for the clarification on the river bank issue - I agree that would be a shame and should be avoided if possible. The loss of green issue is a complete nonsense - there is practically no green space of any value to the public in the area that's being developed. The authors of the protest site (who may include you) take a somewhat contradictory approach to the green issue: on the one hand, they're complaining about the loss of the lovely green fields of Lewisham town centre and yet the other chief gripe seems to be that traffic won't be allowed to carve its way directly through the middle of town in the way that it currently does. There are no nice public spaces in that part of Lewisham precisely because so much priority is given to cars. If you're saying that the loss of public space issue is really about drainage then please post a link to any studies showing an undue flood risk will result from this specific development.

I've no doubt some residents did say that they would like Lewisham to be recreated as a verdant valley, but as you say, any investment in the area will be from the private sector (like nearly all regeneration schemes) and therefore, there has to be some incentive for them to invest. Building homes, retail and leisure facilities that people will enjoy will make them money. Building Hobbiton next to a dying shopping centre and around a busy roundabout won't.

You also have to take in to account that London's housing needs are growing and that Lewisham, like every other borough, has to accommodate those extra units somewhere. Lewisham town centre, as a place that has been in long-term decline, is seen as the appropriate place. The current site is a failure. Something radical needs to be done to it.

Hugh said...

Sorry, no time to peruse all the above today. Can someone tell me when they're rebuilding Lewisham town centre? I don't care how they do it, since it couldn't be worse.

spincat said...

Treelegs - if you think i was claiming more green space was being created then you have simply misread what I was saying

Monkeyboy said...

I, and I presume most of you?, live in a city because you want to. I love the noise and bustle of London, some nice communal spaces would be great for Lewisham and they needn't be 'green'. look at the squares and piazzas (is that spelt right?) of Rome and Barcelona. Lewisham is an urban area so while I like the odd tree lets all recognise that people want to shop, eat and the rest close to home. I normally drive to Bluewater or go into town when I want some retail therapy, such a waste. Lewisham could be great but I agree with Hugh, it's a dump.

Bea said...

I agree the outside of Lewisham shopping centre is a dump and the approach from the roundabout like something from Alcatraz but … in its defence, once inside I think it’s great. It has most of the main high street shops, some great independent outlets and loads of cheap places to shop … can I just say TK Max! Go to the West End to look at what’s new and funky and happening – then buy in Lewisham shopping centre.

And what I love the best is that I don’t feel the need to dress up, put on any make up and look half way presentable (like I do the rest of the week working in The City) – I can just slob out there.

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